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New cases of locally transmitted Zika in Singapore are reported every day and the clusters that are affected appear to be expanding. It is no surprise that everyone is getting worried about it and mosquito repellents are getting swept off the shelves. We visited a few supermarkets and convenience stores in the last few days and notice that if they are not sold out, then stocks are running very low.

If you have been trying to get your hands on mosquito repellents but haven’t had any luck, consider some of these natural repellents instead:

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1. Lemon eucalyptus oil

The lemon eucalyptus oil is probably one of the most well-known natural repellents around. Approved by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention in the USA as an effective mosquito repellent, this has been used for decades as a natural protection against mosquitoes. Using a 100% concentrated lemon eucalyptus oil can be too strong and may harm your skin. To dilute it, add ten parts sunflower oil to one part of lemon eucalyptus oil. Take note, though, that the researchers at the University of Florida discourage the use of lemon eucalyptus oil on children under the age of three.

Want to make your own lemon eucalyptus oil? Open this recipe in a new tab for reading later.

2. Thyme oil

Another scientific study points towards thyme oil as a good form of natural mosquito repellent. The same study said that the Tasmanian bluegum, English lavender, and rosemary are also effective repellents, but thyme oil has the most potent repellent activity among them.

Make your own thyme oil at home with this recipe – open it in a new tab so you can read it later.

3. Grow herbs that are known to ward off mosquitoes

Instead of making the oils to apply onto your skin, you can consider growing herbs that are natural mosquito repellents. Some of these herbs include: basil, lavender, and rosemary. These herbs emit a scent that keeps mosquitoes away. Have them around the house where mosquitoes tend to appear and if you’re home, you can also choose to crush these herbs to apply onto your body to guard against mosquitoes.

Other tips for avoiding mosquito bites

  • Remove all stagnant water: You already know this; mosquitoes lay eggs in shallow, stagnant water, so make sure you check regularly and remove all stagnant water around the house.
  • Keep your body cool: People who perspire or have higher body temperature tend to get bitten by mosquitoes more easily. As such, try to work out indoors and make sure you shower soon after your workout to lower your temperature.
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks: Mosquitoes are attracted to those who consume alcohol, according to a study. So if you’re worried about the Zika virus, lay off alcoholic beverages for now.
  • Wear light-coloured clothes: Mosquitoes spot their “victims” by comparing your silhouette to the surroundings, and dark shades look more outstanding, while light hues make you look less prominent. So leave your black dresses at home and go for other options.
  • Stand close to friends who are of blood type O: According to this study, mosquitoes are more inclined to bite those of blood type O, compared to blood type A, B, and AB. So if you’re not of blood type O, standing next to a friend with blood type O makes her a more likely victim! Even if you are of blood type O, your chance of getting bitten is now reduced by half, isn’t it?

Okay, we are obviously joking about hanging out with friends who are more likely victims. We are sure you knew that. Jokes aside, the Zika virus is not to be taken lightly, and we hope you’ll stay safe and take care of yourself and your family.

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